Glioblastoma is a malignant brain tumor that only affects about three out of every 100,000 adults every year, yet it accounts for more than half of all primary brain tumors. The exceptional neurosurgeons at The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group in Silver Spring, Maryland, have specialized experience in treating glioblastomas using surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery. When you need highly-skilled and board-certified neurosurgeons to fight a fast-growing brain tumor such as glioblastoma, call the office today.
Glioblastoma, also called glioblastoma multiforme, is a fast-growing malignant brain tumor that originates in glial cells. Glial cells surround neurons, where they provide insulation and support the health of the nerve.
Glioblastoma develops when two types of star-shaped glial cells — astrocytes and oligodendrocytes — quickly grow to produce a cancerous tumor. For this reason, glioblastoma is often called a grade IV astrocytoma, which is an invasive tumor that commonly spreads into the brain.
Your symptoms may vary, depending on the location and size of the tumor. In adults, glioblastoma often affects the cerebral hemispheres, which control muscle function, speech, emotions, thought, reading, and learning.
Glioblastomas typically cause symptoms such as:
Many patients gradually develop difficulty speaking.
The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group reviews your medical history, evaluates your symptoms, and performs a neurological exam. Then you undergo diagnostic imaging such as a CT scan or MRI to determine the location of the tumor.
Your provider may also order magnetic resonance spectroscopy. This technique detects signals produced by individual molecules, allowing your neurosurgeon to examine the chemical profile of your glioblastoma.
Glioblastoma demands the skills of the top-notch neurosurgeons at The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group because it’s an aggressive tumor that causes challenges. For example, the tumor often disrupts blood vessels, a problem that affects the delivery of chemotherapy drugs.
The first step in your treatment is a craniotomy, or surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging healthy brain tissue. Your provider at The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group carefully considers variables such as the tumor’s size and location to determine a surgical plan.
After the bulk of the tumor is removed, you have radiation therapy to destroy the remaining tumor cells. In most cases, patients also receive chemotherapy during and after their radiation treatment.
Should the tumor recur, your The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group provider may perform stereotactic radiosurgery. This procedure directs multiple beams of radiation at the tumor, effectively treating the entire tumor with a high dose of radiation.
If you need experienced care for glioblastoma, call The Metropolitan Neurosurgery Group.